#70SportWays (51): The Gyarmati Family, green-white heroes of Fradi
The talent, the great results and effectiveness of the Gyarmati Family is quite unique not just in the Hungarian, but in the history of overall international sport.
Moreover, nearly all members of the family reached great results during their years they spent at Ferencváros. Let’s summarize briefly the biggest milestones of their career.
The waterpolo legend, Dezső Gyarmati (1927-2013), although spent the first part of his player career at Újpest, the main rival of Fradi, later on, he became a green-white hero of our Club.
His favorite victory was the memorable triumph of Hungarian national team at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics shortly after the Hungarian revolution, where Dezső Gyarmati actively participated. Also, the revolution started on his birthday, 23 October. After the Melbourne Olympics, he lived in the US for a while and temporarily became a trainer in Europe. When he returned to Hungary in 1958, he was suspended for 2 years and had to do some blue-collar works.
As a player, he won 3 Olympic gold medals (1952, 1956, 1964), one silver (1948) and one bronze medal (1960).
As a genious of waterpolo, he became an extremely successful coach after his retirement as a player. Under his command, the national team became nearly unbeatable and won the World Championship in 1973, the European Championship in 1974, became silver medallist at the next World Championship in 1975 and won the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976. The team remained successful after that as well. They won the European Championship in 1977, another silver at the World Championship in 1978 and an Olympic bronze medal in Moscow, 1980.
He became a Member of Parliament for the 1990-1994 cycle after the collapse of socialism, a honorary president of the Hungarian Waterpolo Federation and Athlete of the Nation in 2004.
His first wife, Éva Székely started to swim at Ferencváros when and won Hungarian Championships, but due to her Jewish ancestry, she was suspended from all kind of sport activities during WW2. She returned back to the pool as the athlete of Újpest, but became Olympic Champion in Helsinki, in 1952 as the athlete of BVSC (formerly Budapest Locomotive).
She married with Dezső Gyarmati in 1950, and as a mother she managed to win a silver medal in Melbourne, 1956. Éva Székely ended her career in 1960, but became a successful coach then. She was great potential in her daughter, Andrea Gyarmati so she became her coach at BVSC first, but then they returned to Fradi together.
Under her control, Andrea Gyarmati won 2 European Championship titles as a swimmer in 1970, then an Olympic silver and a bronze medal in Münich, 1972.
Éva Székely also became an Athlete of the Nation, an Eternal Member of Ferencváros and has been elected in the Hall of Fame of Swimming.
Their daughter, Andrea became a pediatrician at the end of 1970s. As an expert of children’s diseases, she is a regular expert in domestic tv programs and writes articles in several websites. This year, she became co-Chairman of the Fradi Fair Play Committee.
Andrea was married to the kayakist of Ferencváros, Mihály Hesz, who won an Olympic Gold medal in Mexico (1968), an Olympic silver in Tokyo (1964) and several medals at the Canoeing World Championships and European Championships in the 1960s, early 1970s.
Mihály Hesz moved to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1980 and became a dentist, started a new life with two children in Germany.
But from his first marriage with Andrea Gyarmati, they had a son, Máté Hesz, who became a 3-time Cup Winners Cup – winner waterpolo player. He won 2 of these titles for Ferencváros. He was a Junior World Champion and Junior European Champion.